Corona won’t appeal decision

MANILA — Ousted Chief Justice Renato Corona won’t appeal the decision of the Senate impeachment court ordering his dismissal from office, one of his lawyers said Thursday.

The Senate, sitting as an impeachment court, on Tuesday found Corona guilty of violating the Constitution and betraying the public trust for failing to disclose all his assets in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth.

Rico Quicho said Corona, who is still confined at The Medical City hospital in Pasig City, had decided not to challenge the Senate’s verdict.

The Senate had voted 20-3 to pronounce Corona guilty. Corona, 63, became the first chief justice and the first high Filipino official to be removed from office by an impeachment court.

“The decision of the Senate impeachment court is a closes chapter,” Quicho said in a phone interview.

The chief justice decided not to file an appeal anymore before the Supreme Court.”

Quicho made his statement even as An-Waray party-list Rep. Florencio Noel said the House prosecution spent P5.7 million on Corona’s impeachment trial that lasted almost five months.

He said the bulk of the money went to food, supplies and equipment rental, and that they would be itemizing the expenses.

“We will release it to the media soon,” said Noel, chairman of the House committee on accounts. Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano, a member of the opposition, demanded an auditing of the impeachment fund.

“We need to follow the mandate of the law,” he said.

Defense lawyer Tranquil Salvador III said Corona’s decision not to appeal came as a surprise to him when he visited him Thursday morning.

“He said he [was] already on the high ground when he waived [the confidentiality of] his bank accounts and disclosed what he had to disclose,” Salvador said.

“He felt that he had closed this book on the chapter on his life, but it didn’t mean that he would no longer pursue his [legal] profession.”

Corona is expected to be discharged this weekend. His 30-member staff will have 30 days to look for a new job.

“Hopefully within the 30-day extension, they can find new jobs,” acting Supreme Court spokeswoman Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra said.

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